Saturday, June 18, 2005

Defining the problem with american mainstream culture

Imagine if you will the following scenario: A society where a select few highly educated elites is scientifically literate and understand that evolution and not creationism/Intelligent design is the only viable current theoretical approach to understanding speciation and the huge diversity of life on this little blue marble we call home. Further, this highly educated elite is well aware that global warming is real and are well aware of a host of other looming disasters that are the direct result of neo-liberal economic policies around the world (in the name of "free-trade" - which is pragmatically defined as a trade agreement that benefits the US and cripples the other partner).

Now, imagine how you would get the general public to support government policies that essentially exacerbate these problems and issues to the detriment of all but those few elites. The answer of course is to deny the facts and broad objective scientific consensus on these and other broad topics.

"How is that possible?", you might reasonably ask. "Surely the truth cannot be suppressed for ever. Facts are facts, right?". Sadly, this is not the case. Most everyone is afraid of something. They have some sort of phobia, whether is is spiders, blood, germs, heights, open spaces, enclosed spaces, we all have a persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous. Well, I think I've discovered the common American Phobia that explains this strange land in which I currently reside. The american public suffer from Epistemophobia- The Fear of knowledge.

That was a lot of work for one tiny joke. But it was worth it :)

1 comment:

tim said...

Well put!

On the other hand, it might also be some kind of anit-phobia - a lack of fear of things that we should be afraid of!